HENRY J. DAVIS,
one of the successful farmers and substantial citizens of Fremont
township, Benton county, Iowa, dates his birth in Linn county, this
state, May 30, 1862. His parents, Henry and Louisa (Baker) Davis, were
born in Baden, Germany, and Prussia, respectively; the father, born
December 1, 1837, died in August, 1891; the mother, born February 17,
1838, is now a resident of Norway, Iowa. Their family consisted of six
children, of whom Henry J. is the eldest, the others in order of birth
being as follows: Mary, wife of John Weiehman, of Fremont township;
Lena, wife of Lewis Deklotz, of Newhall, Iowa; Bertha, wife of William
Means, of Vinton, Iowa; Louisa, wife of John T. Smith, of Norway, Iowa;
and Elizabeth, wife of Ferman Lucas, of California.
It was in 1853 that Henry Davis, a young man without a dollar, landed
in this country. His first stop was in DeKalb county, Illinois, where
he spent about one year, and from whence he came to Iowa and took up
his abode in Linn county. He married while in Linn county. In 1863 he
came to Benton county and rented land, which he cultivated for several
years, subsequently buying a farm in section 19 of Fremont township,
and there passing the rest of his life. At the time of his death he was
the owner of six hundred acres in Fremont township. He died in 1902. He
had acceptably filled several local offices, including those of county
supervisor, justice of the peace and township clerk, and he was held in
high esteem by all who knew him.
Henry J. Davis, being the only son in the family, was his father's
dependence on the farm. He remained at home until, after his father's
death. Then he settled on his present farm, one hundred and sixty acres
of fine land well improved in section 30, Fremont township.
On June 26, 1906, Mr. Davis married Mrs. Lena (Ockenfels) Wianans,
widow of Edward J. Wianans. She was born in Germany, October 28, 1883,
and in 1893 came to this country with her mother, Mrs. Margaret
Ockenfels, now a resident of Norway, Iowa. By her first husband Mrs.
Davis had one child, David Edward, and by Mr. Davis she had two, John
H. and Ferdinand C. Politically Mr. Davis is a Republican, and
fraternally he is identified with the Order of Foresters at
Norway. He and his family are Catholics.